Friday, November 27, 2015

Harrington Manor- A New Project

If you follow my Cynthia's Ark Facebook  page you would have seen this range from Leonie Bateman called Harrington posted a few times recently. It is about to arrive. There is 3 colourways for you to choose from, pink, blue and green or you can mix them together.

Now I order the whole range back in July so I have had time to make some plans for a quilt. The quilt has been designed for a while but needed a couple of adjustments once I had the fabric as I had a couple colour questions. Now with the fabric in my hand I have been able to finalize the colour palette I want in this quilt. Now some of you may notice this one is going to be a little different from what I normally do as there is a lot more fabrics in this project. I do like to keep my fabric selections to 4-5 at the max but this one I have selected 12 fabrics to start with. So this is going to be very interesting how I deal with this. A little out of my comfort zone is a good thing. Right?
Here is my selection.

Stay tuned for some sewing snapshots as I start making the blocks.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Monday, November 23, 2015

Polka Dot Pond Friends Quilt Tutorial

This is one of the children's quilts I made over the weekend. I thought I would share what I did to make it. This little pattern will work with any skinny panel you have. I have kept it simply but you can fancy it up with a four patch block like I did with the Photo Safari panel I had in stock awhile a go.
I cut 2 x 4 inch strips from the green swirl.
Pinned them in place and sewed them on. Press to the borders.

Lay the backing fabric out, right side down, lay your wadding on top. Lastly centre the quilt top in the centre. Make sure you smooth out any creases as you lay out each layer. Pin baste the layer together.

Quilt as you like but I kept it simply and quilted around some of the motifs and some of the straight parts including stitching in the ditch between the panel and borders.

Cut 4 x 2 1/2 inch strips from the striped fabric for your binding and join the strips end to end  for a very long 2 1/2 inch strip. Sew on the quilt using your preferred binding method. 
You can purchase this fabric kit at Cynthia's Ark.

Quilt finishes approx. 30 x 43 inches (76 x 110 cm.)
 Until Next Time 
Keep Stitching

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Barossa Craft Fair & Market Round Up

Yesterday we were trading at the Barossa Craft Fair & Market. This is an annual event and generally our last event of the year. So we like to go out with a bang. We have a good spot so you can't miss us as you enter. It was a day filled with fun, shopping, learning and socializing, topped with lots of sales. I was doing some Inklingo demo's introducing everyone to printing their shapes onto their fabrics, eliminating the need for templates. I will need to do some new samples for next year's events program. Ideas were running through my head on how I can do it better for next time and what else I can show them.  We had a some new products to share. Mainly our new Quick Quilts range, 4 designs to choose from to start with. There is Thomas the Tank Engine, Busy Builders, Surprise Birthday and Polka Dot Pond Friends. They come with all the fabric and basic instructions.

Di and her team of helpers did a stunning job arranging and organising the event. People don't realise how much goes into running an event like this. Everyone need to pitch in and help and do their part to make an event like this successful.  So a big thank you to them from us.

These lights are a curse to me. I bought these lights 3 years ago for this event. That year I forgot them completely, left them on my desk. Last year I remembered to take them but forget the batteries for them so I got 1 set out and then realised what I had done. Well this year I made sure I had them with the batteries in my bag. Guess what I totally forgot them and it wasn't until Sunday morning that it hit me that I forget these lights. I can't believe I did that.  Maybe next year I will use them. I alway forget something but normally I forget to bring it, not have it in my bag and not use it.
I might have to hang them in the shop, just to use them.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Surprise Birthday Quilt Tutorial

Surprise Birthday Quilt.

Doesn't this look like lots of blocks joined together. I have news for you it is one piece of fabric. How easy is that most of the work has already been done for you.

These instructions will help you turn two pieces of quilting fabric into a simple quick quilt.
Cut the top fabric first to the size you want then cut the backing fabric 3 inches longer, you need to give it a good press with an iron before starting.
Lay the backing fabric out, right side down; lay your wadding/batting on top. Lastly lay the top fabric on making sure you line up the selvedge edges with the backing fabric as they are roughly the same size. If you are a little off with lining up, don’t worry we will be trimming the sides up before binding. Make sure you smooth out any creases as you lay out each layer. Pin bastes the layer together or you can spray baste your layers.

Quilt as you like but I kept it simply and quilted along the thick red lines to create the illusion on blocks where there is none.

Now when I bind a quilt I use the edge of the quilt top to line my binding up with but with this type of quilt it is a little harder. As it is hard to line up the top and bottom fabrics exactly with wadding/ batting in between I choose to trim an inch or two off the sides just to tidy up the sides before sewing the binding in place.

Cut 4 x 2 1/2 inch strips from the green chevron fabric for your binding and join the strips end to end for a very long 2 1/2 inch strip. Sew on the quilt using your preferred binding method.

These instructions will work for any two fabrics you choose to use to make a quick quilt or you can purchase a fabric kit at Cynthia's Ark.

Enjoy Keep Stitching

These instructions are written for a quilter who has some quilting and piecing knowledge. 
Cynthia’s Ark PO Box 24 Mallala SA 5502 Ph 08 8527 2120

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #15

This week there has been nearly nothing under my pressure foot. So I set myself a crazy challenge of 4 Childrens quilt in one day. Three of them are just panels so they will only need pinning, quilting and binding but the fourth one will need side borders add to it to make it a little larger.

Why put myself under this pressure? It is crazy. I know but I have one more event for the year and though I have 3 of the quilt kits for sale I have no samples to show the customers what they look like when finished. I have being going to do this for the last 4 months and still haven't found the time to do it. Over the last month I have been trying to get myself better organised to save time, get more done and go places business wise. My key issue seem to be planning I want to do all these things and I never seem to manage to get to them. So I am working to a new schedule, planning my days better, setting myself time limits, doing the dreaded jobs first and not putting them off so they become huge problems. Which has brought me to this point. Four quilts in one day, now it will be ok if I don't get all four done but if I don't work on them in my allocated time slot that will be another matter. Plus the shop is open so I will be stopping to help the customers along the way.
 So here goes.
I got the wadding box out and there was only one piece that I could use. Of course it fits the pieced one. I don't mind sewing two pieces of wadding together but more then that it is too messy for me. So I better created a table runner workshop for next year. So I started with the Polka Dot Pond Friends first. I added a couple of side borders to make it a little wide and then I was ready for pining.

To quilt this one I just followed some of the outline on the panel, like the water and the clouds. Then some of the straight lines including  some stitching in the ditch of the 2 side borders. Add the binding and it was ready for the hand sewing part by lunch. I will kit this one up for anyone who is interested.

Next on my list was the Surprise Birthday quilt. This one was an easy one as the hardest part was laying the three layers exactly on top of each other as it is just two pieces of fabric.

The fabric shows you exactly where to quilt as it looks like a pieced top, so my favourite Aurifil red #2250 comes out to quilt it. I wonder how many times I have used this red this year- at least three times I am thinking.
Then I finished it off with the lime green from the range for the binding. A kit will be available shortly for you to make your own.
So on to #3 the Busy Builders quilt once again it is a panel making it super easy to make in an afternoon and this one is already available on my website for sale.

So I got three done. At one stage I thought 2 was going to be it but I did the hardest one first. Thomas is still to be done. I will see if I can get it done one night during the week.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Trunk Full of Quilts

Over at Whins &  Fancies  Soma is running A Trunk Full of Quilts Show where we all can share a special project or two.
I wanted to select one that I have finished this year and why not select my latest completed project but one of my longest project. Nearly 3 years in the making all the blocks were hand pieced and I joined all the blocks and sashing by hand. Then the sew machine took over and I sewed the red border on and then I had the quilt professional machine quilted because of it size. It would've taken me a long time to quilt and I don't think I would of done it justice.

Have you guessed which one it is? You would've seen it recently on my blog when I was have binding troubles.

That's right. It is my Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. It was so hard to take a photo of the whole quilt. It is the largest quilt I have made. It is now completed and I can cross it off my To Do List 2015. I don't believe it that it is finished but it is and I can work towards completing another project off my list but time is running out for the year. I wonder if I can get a couple more completed this year.
In the meantime have a look at some of the other beautiful creations in this Trunk Show. There are some many talented people out there. It just inspires you to head back to your sewing and stitch a bit more. There is the link on the right hand side of my blog, that will take you to Whims and Fancies.
Thanks Soma for hosting this special event.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Under The Pressure Foot #14

Hi everyone. It is time to share what I have been sewing this week. I must admit I wish I had more to share with you. There has been lots of computer work done this week with the November Bulletin being created and uploaded under the Bulletin tab, posts on the various Cynthia's Ark clubs we have on offer on a number of our social media accounts, work on next year's workshops program and of course designing some new quilt designs.
In among all this I did cut the fabric for the first Stash Bash quilt.

 The Stash Bash is an event planned for next year like our Fully Stacked weekend. It will be a sewing party. In the end this is all the sewing I did about 10 minutes worth. It is a shame I didn't have more time at the machine as there is lots of these little units to make for this quilt. Plus there is 2-3 more quilts to make for this event. So I am going to be busy.

 Hopefully I will find a little more time this week but I won't hold my breath as I know there is more fabric arriving and I want to continue working on my design that uses the Harrington range since I have some fabric early.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fabric Overload

Friday was such a busy day. There has been lots to do lately and I have been working late most days this week. So I was pretty tired by the time I got home just before 6pm. I left the house at 6.10am so I was out all day. I had collected an fabric order that had arrived and I was wondering what had come in. It is still one of my favourite things opening the fabric shipments, some orders I know exactly what is in them, others I have to order months in advance. The ones I order months in advance are the special surprise ones. I wonder which range has arrived. This one was a mixed batch. We have more Tula Pink fabrics, Paula Barnes Companions, Always the Season (which is this month's Stashing Building Club shipment) and Loominious which I can't believe how soft it feels to touch and the rich colours just sing to me. I know there is a couple more still to come from this range. These fabric will be available shortly at Cynthia's Ark.
Top -Tula Pink Eden, Middle - Always the Season &  Bottom-Tula Pink Elizabeth

Paula Barnes Companion The yellow is more a gold in colour.

Loominious Top bolt is more red than orange.
Now there was another parcel waiting for me when I got in that my LSH( long suffered husband) collected from the post office. It was from Millhouse Collections. I buy all my  Riley Blake Designs and Penny Rose Fabrics stock from them so I always have something coming from them lately. Another shipment arriving early next week but this one was different. This one I didn't know about. What was in blew my mind I couldn't believe what I was looking at when I opened it.
 In my hands I was holding the fabrics from Leonie Bateman's Harrington range. I ordered this range back in July and I have ordered the whole range (first time ever) because I loved the whole range and I don't think that has ever happened. There is alway a few I don't care for but this one is different. The other thing I have noticed fabrics can lose a little of their magic on paper (in catalogues) and on the computer screen but when they are in your hands they just sing so loudly you can't turn them down. This is what this range does to me. A big happy dance around the kitchen was done and  all of a sudden I wasn't as tired as I felt when I walked in the door. Ah the magic of fabric!

Hopefully we will have stock in December when it is set for release here but I will be able to load all the fabric on the shop early for you to browse along with the quilt pattern that goes with this range. I will be able to kit the quilt up as well. I will be make the quilt as a shop sample so we can do some workshops on it if you want to join me making it.
Until Next Time 
Keep Stitching

Hot Bolt of the Week #9

I have just loaded this week's Hot Bolt of the Week for everyone. This week there is a batik fabric on offer.
It is the Bottle Green Spring Batik fabric and it is only $12 metre for this week at Cynthia's Ark

Now I have been using this one in my Double Wedding Ring Quilt that turned into a bed runner. I love the pattern but realistic I need to be working on my new designs and shop samples. So I reduced the size down. I still need to do the binding but I might do that over the Christmas break where hopefully I can fit 3-4 days just on sewing. Fingers crossed.
Until Next Time 
Keep Sewing

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cynthia's Ark November Bulletin

The latest bulletin is now available for your read pleasure. It is full of new products, specials, club details and what is going to be happening. So make yourself a cuppa and have a read.
November 2015 Bulletin.

Ardently Austen 10' Stackers and Rolie Polie

Bolts of Ardently Austen

 Bolts of Forget Me Not fabric with Indigo and Cheddar fat quarter bundle.
These are a few of the new arrivals in the shop.
All product can be order online at Cynthia's Ark
Until Next Time 
Keep Stitching

Monday, November 2, 2015

Black Sheep, White Sheep

I am continuing with pattern testing this week. All this is leading to the Cynthia's Ark Safari workshops. Where you can come and spend some time into the shop making a soft toy animal from the animal patterns  we have in stock. So why am I making some up. There is a few reasons for me to do this. They are-
1 . Pattern test- To find out how easy the item is to make.
2. How well written the pattern is. Some patterns can be overwritten making them hard to understand though what they want you to do is easy to do if written up simply.
3. My theory is if I can make it, most other people can make it. Plus it helps me when someone needs help making up the pattern and they are stuck. I am already familiar with the pattern so I find it easier to help others.
4. It is good to check the patterns fabric requirements and finished size. I know some patterns can have extra fabric listed and some patterns will only have exactly what you need listed. This is good for me to know when cutting fabrics for kits or for the customer's.
5. Lastly I need a shop sample to show you what the kit fabrics look like when they are made.

So the pattern I am making this week is a special requested by my LSH (long suffering husband) who is a big fan of Shaun the Sheep. That means I am making Melly & Me Black Sheep, White Sheep. I have made a few of their patterns Oliver Hoot, Dee Dee the Dolphin and Baby Bunnies. This one is a little more challenging than the others just for the fact there is a zip involved.

The first parts were no trouble - cutting and sewing legs, arms, body, head and ears and then cutting them out and stuffing. In all making the sheep wasn't too bad. The scary part was making his little suit. Working with the minkee was a little challenging and that zip. I managed to get it in but it could've been neater and more even.

 Considering I can count the number zips I have used in projects on 1 hand, I thought I did ok. It fitted and it works. What more can I ask for!

Time to move on to the next project but remember if you want to make your own sheep the pattern is available on my shop at Cynthia's Ark.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching